DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 05 Aug) — The construction of the P46 billion two-way bypass road project that will run from Toril in Davao City to Panabo City will start in the first quarter of 2018, the chief of the Davao City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) said.
CPDO head Ivan Cortez said the 28-kilometer bypass, a project of the national government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), will start in Toril, pass through Barangay Magtuod in Talomo District, and end up in Panabo City.
He said the city government was already instructed by the national government to refrain from issuing development permits to real estate companies along the areas that will be needed for this project.
“Because if we keep giving development permits, it gives the real estate developer, authority to develop the areas that will be utilized as part of the bypass road. In effect, we either pay them bigger or the government will have to adjust to avoid hitting that particular development,” he said.
He said the first section will run from Toril and will pass through a 2.3-km two-way tunnel that will be put up by digging through the hilly area in Barangay Magtuod, which is poised to become the longest tunnel in the Philippines for public transport.
He said “it’s high time” a bypass road is constructed to ease out the traffic situation in downtown area.
He said the original bypass was the Diversion Road (Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway) but “development has already caught up and it has become busy because of the businesses that have been sprouting.”
The project is expected to be completed in three years or by 2021.
He said developments near the bypass will be monitored to avoid overcrowding and prevent congestion.
“We will stick to the zoning classification,” he said.
Cortez said commercial activities will not be allowed along the bypass road, except for a limited number of refreshment establishments, gasoline stations, and car servicing center.
A project briefer said the objective of the project is to “improve the transport logistics and mitigate congestion in the Davao City urban center, thereby contributing to economic and social development of Mindanao.”
It added that the bypass tunnel “will have an important role to unite the west and east side communities, existing and under development, which are currently separated by a mountain.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)